Some Good Thinking

The Big Deal About Email Bounce Rates

Email Bounce Rates

You’ve probably noticed this dreaded statistic on your sent message report — the bounce rate. Every time you send a message, we track the number of recipients whose email provider automatically replies with a bounce notification.

Of course we don’t like bounced messages because they don’t reach the subscriber’s inbox. But bounces are more problematic than that. Email bounce rates that creep too high can have a snowball effect on your ability to reach the inbox. Here’s why …

The big consumer email providers — Gmail,, Yahoo and AOL for example — all receive billions of emails each day. Like it or not, email platforms conserve their inbound message capacity by making decisions about which messages land in the inbox immediately, which messages land in the inbox following a delay, which messages land in the junk or spam folder and which messages are simply not delivered at all. Each email provider makes these decisions in a unique fashion that is not typically made public, but they are largely based on your reputation as an email marketer. That’s right, email providers track large-volume email senders by the domain of their from email address and their links, and by their sending IP address. How many people open and click on your message is factored in, but so too are the number of bounces your message receives. For example, if a large number of Gmail subscribers bounce, Gmail may decide to delay delivery of all of your messages, reroute your messages to the spam folder or block your messages altogether.

To keep this from happening, monitor your bounce rate on your sent messages. If you have a bounce rate above 2 percent, take action. We can help you bring your bounce rate down and check for any blocks. If you have a bounce rate between 1-2 percent, get in touch with your Katey Charles Communications account manager, so we can work proactively to make sure your bounce rates stay below 2 percent.

Did you know?
Our email marketing software automatically removes subscriber email addresses from your list when addresses bounce for three messages in a row. This helps keep your lists clean, which helps to keep your emails out of the spam folder. Learn more about our technology services.